Emil Garner’s death underscored

Tulane student Emil Garner died in a car accident Friday in Holmdel, New Jersey. A student in the A.B. Freeman School of Business and transfer student from Denmark, Garner’s tragedy was communicated to only students of the business school in an email signed by President Mike Fitts via Michael Hogg, A.B. Freeman School of Business associate dean for undergraduate programs. A staff member from the Office of Student Affairs flew to Holmdel to meet with Garner’s father. The fact that the entire student body was not notified is simply unacceptable.

Fitts has made great effort to act transparently in response to deaths and injuries in the student body, as seen after medical student Peter Gold was shot on Nov. 20. After that incident, he sent out an email to the entire Tulane student body expressing relief at Gold’s stabilized condition and commending his courage. Though the two situations are different, consistency is essential. Otherwise, the memories of students like Garner are disrespected.

Any loss of life is tragic, as is injury. President Fitts’ communications in the past regarding these things are commendable in their sensitivity, respect and solemnity. But given all that, it is his and the administration’s job to communicate important matters to the entire student body. Even though Garner was a transfer student and the accident occurred in New Jersey, he was a member of the Tulane community. His death affects us all.

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